9 tips for writing great content
I am often met with fear and trepidation when I ask clients to give me some content for their website. "I can't write!" I hear very commonly. The good news is you don't have to - we can do it for you! So, what, we're experts on every subject? Hardly! But we do know some good questions to ask, and this allows us to write great articles about any subject that you give us the information on. Here's a brief idea on the sort of things we can ask to jog you into giving us facts we can then weave into content.
- When did you start your business and why?
- What's your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
- What are your <insert number> major products/services?
- Who are your staff? Tell us about their background (better still have them write it).
- What concerns do customers in your industry have? How does <insert company name> help them overcome those worries?
When writing articles, be they ordinary website articles or blogs, think of the potential reader, and then think WIIFM - what's in it for me? Let's face it, we all WANT! And, generally, we want new, improved, more depth, etc. We don't want yesterday's news or someone else's article to re-read on another site - even if it's been paraphrased.
Here's some ideas about writing great content for your website or blog.
- Check your facts. Wow! Nothing destroys your credibility more, or drives people away faster than a load of baloney!
- Check your spelling and grammar. Similar to facts. People won't take you seriously if you can't even be bothered using a spell check.
- Write something useful. Think of something in your business and write a "How to" piece. What, and give away valuable information? Yes. Face it, if they Google it, probably it's already out there. Be a nice guy and write a better version. Better still, make it a download-able PDF.
- Write concisely and clearly. Rambling on, or filling your article with "cool" technical terms will have readers scrambling for the back button.
- Give a call to action. Within your article, encourage the reader to go further. Perhaps that's buying a product, getting more information, phoning, clicking a link.
- Use appropriate humor. Jokes about dying may not go down well on an undertakers site. But don't be afraid of using humor - it works and lightens the "atmosphere", encouraging the reader to continue or do more.
- Write as an authority. If you know something, have a qualification or an award in it, don't be afraid to say so. Many, many people looking for help and advice don't know who to turn to. Your "badge of authority", whatever that is, may be the reassurance they need to choose you!
- Write something educational. Back to WIIFM. Make sure your reader goes away with new knowledge, better equipped to deal with the problem they face, than they did before reading your article.
- Use images. A picture paints a thousand words. They also help break up large pieces of text. And don't forget to place "alt tags" on all images - it's a great piece of overlooked SEO.
Still not convinced you can do it? Then contact us for help.